Updated: Apr 23
Learning music is not just coming to have lessons, but to practice what was learnt during the lessons at home and make music to perfection. Here are some tools I have found that are quite useful and worth taking a look at.
Having a metronome is a MUST for all music students. It helps with getting the notes played at the right time and at a steady pulse. There are traditional tick-tock triangular manual metronomes such as that in the picture above, as well as electronic ones such as the Korg ones we use at Centre Stage.
Google actually have a free basic metronome: https://www.google.com/search?q=metronome
The wearable and vibrating metronome that enables you to 'feel' the beat with the vibrations.
I have the Pulse at Centre Stage, available for students to use during lessons to improve on counting. It can sync to your smart phone and operated from their free metronome app available to download from their website: www.sounbrenner.com
Their stand-alone free metronome app that can be used even if you do not have the vibrating wearable metronome at home, just like other free metronome apps that you can find from the App Store or Google Play.
If you are learning a musical instrument other than the piano, it's more likely that you will also need an electric tuner to set up the instrument before each practice. Some electric metronomes have built in tuner functions, but if you do not have one, search for a free one from the App Store or Google Play.
(iOS – $3.99; Android – $3.99) is a simple and easy-to-use tuner and tone generator with a nice big display that is easy to read from a distance (even on your phone). It also offers a variety of pitch and temperament settings – with custom presets – which can be handy for those who frequently have to switch between modern and baroque instruments, for instance. Several readers praised its ease of use for beginner-level students.
(iOS only – $3.99) boasts a clean, modern-looking interface, a set of presets optimized for different instruments, and a variety of tuning modes. When using Instant-Tuning mode, for instance, the display flashes green if your note is in tune, and if you’re out of tune, the app uses a red bar and displays text telling you to go up or down. There is also a Fine-Tuning mode (similar to Cleartune’s look) and a Strobe mode.